Internet technology and marketing

July 25, 2011

Flash

Flash is software that enable you to produce animated visuals for a website.  However Flash does not work as well on mobile devices. 

Flash takes a longer amount of time to load.

Flash sites do not do well with search engine optimization.  It is difficult to “read” a Flash page.

Should you do flash?  What do you think?

June 18, 2011

How to use QRs

Filed under: youtube — Tags: , , — webcubic @ 9:47 pm

We discussed QRs a couple of days ago and now we’d like to supply you with a list of places or ways that QRs can be implemented.

– a simple link somewhere.  It could be a link to your website.  So place this on every document or business card that you print.  It’s an easier way for users to get to your website.

– a YouTube video.  You may have uploaded a video to YouTube.  You can tell your friends or business associates about that video. If you recall, the links are long and difficult to remember.  A QR solves that problem.  If you happen to have several YouTube video on your website, why not convert them to QRs? You can put an A HREF tag on the QR graphic which will link to the video.  If you’re doing this from a smart phone, then it will link to the actual YouTube file and play it on the smartphone.

– you can put text information in a QR.  Perhaps the QR can be place on a “for sale” sign.  A visitor can quickly scan the QR and get further information on the property for sale.

– a restaurant menu QR can supply contact information and a website URL.  The consumer can simply scan the QR and save the information on their smart phone.

– erhaps you give your phone # to many people, especially at conferences.  Why not put your phone number in a QR and let people scan it as they need your phone numbers.

Do you have any ideas?

June 16, 2011

Technology and REALTORS

Filed under: facebook, QR, real estate, social media, twitter — Tags: , , , — webcubic @ 11:23 pm

Approximately one half of NAR members said they used social media sites last year.  In 2009, only one third did. Further, in 2010 89% of buyers used the Internet to search for homes versus 45% visiting open houses and 36% used print ads.  The Internet is being used by real estate professionals.

The most often mentioned social media tool is the blog.  One successful real estate professional said his approach has been to focus on the town where he lived and farmed.  He was soon obtaining 300 page views per day.  On occasion he had 8,000 page views.  His first lead came almost a year later. One buyer that used this realtor said that it was the content of the blog that appealed to him. 

Real estate professionals said they optimize their websites and blogs for simple keyword phrases – like “Seal Beach real estate”.   

Other social media sites that are widely used are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (so far, no surprises), and Criagslist.  Google AdWords is used. Real estate portals are favored, too – Trulia, Zillow, and Redfin.

What other technologies are available to real estate professionals?  Quick response (QR) codes on “for sale” signs.  Individual websites for listed properties.  With the objective being to broaden the number of possible buyers, the Internet makes sense.

What have you used?

Here are some of our observations.  Social media is an effective tool.  We favor Facebook as the tool that most users are using today.  FB will provide a blog like forum by using a “like” page.  Use this to expand your reach.  Give visitors a reason to return.  Remember that the “like” page is a business page and is expected to be that by visitors.  If you want to discuss movies, restaurants, etc, then use the “friends” pages. 

As far as how rapidly you will get results, be patient.  There is the negative real estate market to deal with and that buyers need time to get comfortable with you.  They will link to your website for more capabilities – property searches. 

Be sure to provide links to Facebook and other social media sites from your website.

June 10, 2011

Quick response codes

Filed under: QR — Tags: , , , — webcubic @ 8:51 pm

Finally barcodes are older technology.  The new barcode for the digital age is call quick response codes or QR.  QRs have the ability to deliver more information than the old barcodes.  When scanned using smartphones, they can open websites, play videos, place calls, provide text information, or haiku.   Recent information reports that QRs are scanned 2 million times monthly.  This is double what it was only one year ago.

Consider some of the ways that QRs are used.  Best Buy applies the codes on most of its high end products.  Macy’s uses them to display how products are used.  Goldilocks bakeries offered cakes with edible QRs linked to a teddy bear that opened and closed its arms.  Joe’s Jeans uses QRs to link  customers to their social media sites, provide contact information, and product specific information.  Starbucks uses QRs in a Lady Gaga related promotion.  You can even pay for your purchases at Starbucks.

QRs have great potential as a marketing tool.  Smartphone growth is increasing.  One study forecasted that smartphones will be used by half of all Americans by the end of the year.  This is significant.  The marketing potential is great by focusing on smartphones. 

However, only 5% of smartphone users have scanned a QR.  Many smartphone users, even those who are otherwise tech savvy, have no idea what a squiggly QR is.  Or what it can provide.  But this will soon change.

This technology was developed in the mid-90s.  The adoption rate was much faster in other lands (Japan, South Korea) and much slower here.

Looking forward, small businesses will be among the adopters of this technology.  Check out more information at www.facebook.com/webcubic

Here is a QR to take you to WebCubic’s Facebook page.  Open up a barcode app on your smartphone and try this QR.

qrcode

Once you try it, you’ll realize how easy it is.  That maybe one of the easy ways to get others to visit websites.

May 8, 2011

Tablet computing

Filed under: android, iPad, tablets — Tags: , , , — webcubic @ 9:12 am

Goldman Sachs projected that tablet sales will increase by 500 percent in 2011.  Another study from Robert Half Technology reported companies nationwide expect to increase tablet usage by 50 percent within the next two years.  SwebApps is one of many companies that develops iPad and Android apps.  They estimated that typical customized tablet apps cost between $15,000 and $40,000 to develop.

One company that invests in tablets for their employees reported that tablets have increased productivity around the office because employees are much more mobile. Plus, he added, tablets are “green” because paper usage has dropped.

Are tablets in your future?

April 6, 2011

Yelp’s Check-in

Filed under: android, social media, yelp — Tags: , , — webcubic @ 11:13 pm

We installed a YELP app on our new Android phone.  We were already familiar with Yelp because we had been a user for a number of years. The Yelp app would allow us write our reviews from our smart phone.

We noticed a “check in” feature.  After walking in a restaurant we did a “check in”.  Then anyone who was “following” me knew where I ate. Truth be told, there was only one person “following” me.  Someone else explained to me that he had checked in more often than anyone to a particular restaurant and was now the “duke” of the restaurant. 

 So then the “check in” feautre was just a game.  Silly.  Why would anyone play this game?  Just to be the silly “duke” of a restaurant?  It would require returning to the restaurant and spend more money.

Then we learned that some establishments award discounts or other rewards to people who “check in” to their establishments.  Now people had a real incentive to return to those businesses – primarily restaurants at this time.  If they go often enough, they become the “duke” or “duchess”.  Or get a discount. Or a free appetizer. Or a free drink.

If you are a business owner who depends upon repeat business, could the “check in” feature of Yelp create a real incentive for your business?  Absolutely!

Here are some ways to implement this.

– for every several “check ins” to a car wash you can earn a free wash.

– for each “check in” to a restaurant, you get a free drink with your meal.

– after several “check ins” at a coffee shop or hair salon or massage parlor, you get something free or an upgrade service.  Better yet, you become a frequent shopper and are entitled to discounts. 

For every establishment that has a variation of a rewards card – YELP’s “check in” feature can do the same thing.  Because those establishments can be found on Yelp, it is more readily found.  Especially inviting would be an immediate reward for the first “check in”.  Alternatively, you could combine the “check in” with a written review.

What kind of business do you have?  What reward can you offer as an incentive to visit your establishment?  Even if you are not a “repeat business” establishment, that initial discount or free service is a powerful incentive.

If you are an enterprise reaching out to new customers and improving your repeat business, investigate the Yelp “check in” feature.

February 21, 2011

Basic SEO for Facebook

Since Facebook fan pages are indexed by Google, then it only makes sense to optimize the content of the fan pages.  That means you should have your important keywords appear that relate to your business.  Some would say “keyword rich” content. 

When optimizing websites, the emphasis is not necessarily on the company name but rather on the company activities. When optimizing for Facebook, be sure to include the company name.   When searching for Facebook content, company name is often used.

To be continued …

February 18, 2011

A bigger reason to have a Facebook FAN page

There are a lot of reasons that Facebook FAN pages are important to have.  In fact we enumerated many of them in an earlier post. Those reasons focused on building trust and credibility – and the need to engage people.  Facebook FAN pages can do that.

But here’s an even more important reason.

Google reported that Twitter and Facebook impact rankings.  Fan pages are indexed and therefore are another source of traffic.  Bing admitted that these social sites also impact their rankings.

Here’s what this means.  When you do a search via Google, you should find your website among the higher ranked results.  You’ve optimized your website to do that.  But, in addition, what if you could find your Facebook fan page there, too.  You can!  That’s what it means when we say that “fan pages are indexed”.  So you need to place keywords in your Facebook fan pages.

We can show you how. Even better, return and we’ll give you a couple of tips on how to do this.

February 3, 2011

Facebook fan page

Filed under: facebook, social media — Tags: , — webcubic @ 12:24 am

An online presence will be enhanced by using a Facebook fan page.  Such pages can facilitate communication between the company and Internet visitors.  So it only makes good sense to use Facebook’s fan pages.

The Internet visitor has an opportunity to “like” the page.

Once that happens, you can offer them benefits that builds loyalty to your product and encourage the “fans” to invite their friends to join your page which helps to increase your popularity and online presence.

Try it.

January 20, 2011

2011 color

Filed under: websites — Tags: — webcubic @ 11:55 pm

Honeysuckle, bold and reddish-pink, was chosen by Pantone as the 2011 Color of the Year.  It is described as a captivating and stimulating color.

It is already being used in the fashion world and we can expect that it will show up in weddings and Spring and Summer fashions.  It will soon appear in graphic designs and even websites.

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